Despite the efforts of a local protest committee to reach a proper decision, there are occasions when a party is not satisfied that the rules were applied correctly in deciding a case. If that happens, there is an appeal process to address errors. Appeals are covered by Rules 70 and 71 and Appendix R of the Racing Rules of Sailing.
In much of the United States there is a two-tiered appeal process. All appeals must be initially filed with US Sailing. They may then be referred to a regional sailing association appeals committee should there be an active one where the event occurred. The LMSRF’s Appeals Committee is one such regional appeals committee.
The steps are outlined in Appendix R of the Racing Rules of Sailing. A brief summary follows:
- First, if you wish to object to the composition or procedures of a protest committee, you must raise your objections during the protest hearing and insist that the protest committee note your objections. If you feel there was an improper action on the part of the protest committee, you may request redress from that Protest Committee’s action. That may be the best way to get a complete record of the events before the appeals committee.
- If you wish to appeal a decision, state your intent to do so at the conclusion of the hearing and request a written copy of the decision. The decision must include the facts found and an official diagram of the incident.
a. A statement of grounds for the appeal in which you specify why or how you believe the protest committee’s interpretation of the RRS was incorrect.
b. A copy of the protest committee’s written decision and official diagram.
c. In LMSRF there is an appeal fee of $75.00 (waived for members). You should state in your appeal whether you are a member of LMSRF. Otherwise send a check for the fee to LMSRF with a note explaining what the check is for. If you do not state you are a member or do not remit the fee, consideration will be delayed until that is ironed out.
Also, any of the following documents in the appellant’s possession shall be submitted:
a. The protest form and decision.
b. A diagram prepared or endorsed by the protest committee.
c. Notice of race, sailing instructions and amendments.
d. Written statements submitted by the parties or the committee.
e. Any additional relevant documents.
f. The names and addresses of all parties and the Protest Committee chair.
It may be helpful to remember the following:
- Appendix R6 of the Racing Rules of Sailing provides that all parties to the protest are entitled to submit timely comments on the appeal. However, they also must send copies of these comments to the other involved parties and to the protest committee.
- Under Rule 70.1 and Appendix R5 of the Racing Rules of Sailing the LMSRF Appeals Committee is empowered to apply the rules to the facts found by the original protest committee. If the appeals committee feels that the facts presented are inadequate, it may request further information from the protest committee or remand the protest to re-open or call a new hearing.
- The LMSRF Appeals Committee decides appeals on an 'as filed' basis. The chair of the LMSRF Appeals Committee will send the written decision of the appeals committee to each party in the protest and to the protest committee.
- Decisions by the LMSRF Appeals Committee also may be appealed to the US Sailing Appeals Committee, as provided in Rule 70.1 and Appendix R1.2 of the Racing Rules of Sailing.